Being a caregiver for someone whose life has been impacted by dementia can be challenging to say the least.

While at one moment there are feelings of sadness as they see their loved one’s mind slowly deteriorate in front of them, in the next there are feelings of desperation as the caregiver works to help that loved one cope with their new reality.

Those who offer care for people with dementia can often feel isolated as they are often unable to even leave their home for fear of what might happen when they are away.

If only there was a way that those who are serving in the role of a caregiver for one with dementia to meet with others who are in the same position.

For people in the Redwood area, there is such an opportunity through a new program being offered via a collaborative effort between the Redwood County Restorative justice program and Garnette Gardens. The program is called a dementia circle. 

Lynn Buckley, Garnette Gardens memory care manager, and Lisa Jones, Restorative Justice program assistant, are coordinating the circle, which is held monthly on the third Friday. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15 at the Garnette Gardens facility.

According to Buckley, the circle provides an opportunity for those who attend to just talk about what they are facing in their dementia journey. In addition, there are times when the circle will include educational programs on various topics related to dementia and care.

“We just want people to know they are not alone,” said Buckley.

People who participate will have the chance to tell their stories and experiences and to hear those of others, all in an effort to learn from each other.

The circle is held starting at 10 a.m., and Buckley said it typically lasts about an hour.

Jones added while the current date has been set, there is nothing in stone. Other circles could be developed based on when people who are interested may be able to meet.

Buckley and Jones added this is a not a circle for those who have dementia, but for those caregivers, family and friends who are facing the struggles of having someone in their life who has dementia.

Dementia is more than Alzheimer’s disease, added Buckley.

To learn more, contact Buckley at (507) 644-8500 or Jones at (507) 637-1142.

– Image courtesy of the Internet Public Domain